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Hello and welcome to "The Week Ahead"
from the Financial Times in London.
Here are some of the big stories we'll be watching this week.
Historic talks between the US and North Korea
will take place when Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un
meet in Singapore.
The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates
in the US.
The owner of the Zara fashion brand, Inditex,
reports results.
And the football World Cup kicks off in Russia,
but will FIFA vote for an underdog
to host the 2026 tournament?
Now, just a year ago, Kim Jong Un was a pariah.
North Korea had conducted several missile tests
and US President Donald Trump threatened
to respond with fire and fury.
Until March, the North Korean dictator
had never even been abroad on a state visit.
But this year, things have switched to a more diplomatic
track, and on Tuesday he's due to meet Donald
Trump in a historic summit.
Mr Trump wants to sign an agreement
to denuclearize North Korea and set a new path
for the reclusive regime.
But what is the US likely to get out of this week's meeting?
Here's our chief foreign affairs commentator, Gideon Rachman.
These are two very unusual and unpredictable leaders.
If you had two kind of normal leaders,
it would be quite easy, I think, to sketch out
the possible outcomes.
It would be very hard to imagine that they would immediately
solve the problem or come up with a breakthrough.
With these leaders, it's possible
that they will stray off script quite sharply
and perhaps come up with something with surprises
us all.
But there's also a downside risk.
And if the two men don't hit it off
or if they have very different expectations,
you could actually see a summit that goes badly wrong
and leads to a return or even perhaps
an increase in concerns about war that so dominated 2017.
And now to the US, where the Federal Reserve's
monetary policy decision is the highlight
of a busy economic calendar this week.
We'll get updates on inflation, manufacturing, and consumer
sentiment in Thursday's retail sales report.
The interest rate decision, which is on Wednesday,
will be presented alongside updates to the Fed's
economic and interest rate projections.
That will be followed by a press conference
with fed chair Jay Powell.
A rate rise is largely considered
a foregone conclusion, as our reporter Mamta Badkar explains.
Markets are anticipating the second rate rise
of the year and the seventh since 2015 amid signs
of renewed strength in the US economy
and as the Fed is getting a bit more confident
about its inflation outlook.
Now, the Fed said last month that inflation has moved closer
to its 2% target, but noted that this is a symmetrical target,
suggesting that modest moves above or below 2%
will be acceptable to the Fed.
Of note, of course, will be at the dot plot of interest rate
projections as markets try to determine
whether 2018 has three or four rate rises on the cards.
Now to Spain, where Inditex, the owner of the Zara fashion
brand, is set to report its first quarter results.
And all eyes will be on the long troublesome gross margin
figure.
The world's largest clothes retailer by sales
has for years seen slipping margins.
This has sparked investor concerns
about the effects of competition from online only rivals.
And in March, the company said that gross margins
had dropped from 57% in 2016 to 56.3% in 2017.
That was the lowest for a decade and worse
than analysts' expectations.
But many analysts are saying that while gross margins may
be down in the first quarter, there
could be signs of stabilisation, which
would reassure the markets.
Inditex has long denied that online sales will lead them
to lower margins.
Earlier this year, it blamed the strong euro, as well as
unseasonal weather.
And finally, to Russia, where the football World
Cup kicks off on Thursday.
The host take on Saudi Arabia in the opening match in Moscow.
But just before the big kickoff, more than 200
of FIFA's member nations will meet
to vote on the host for the 2026 World Cup.
And it's a race between a powerhouse joint bid
by the United States, Canada, and Mexico
and an underdog bid by Morocco.
Much to the surprise of many people
in the world of football, Morocco could win it.
This would be a shock because the North American
bid is offering a projected record $11 billion of profits
to FIFA.
And FIFA's own inspection task force
scored the North American bid very highly on technical merits
and it said there were risks to hosting
the tournament in Morocco.
So what would it mean if Morocco pulls off a surprise victory?
Here's our leisure correspondent, Murad Ahmed.
It seemed to me, at least, by reading
that report that FIFA's inspectors were saying,
don't hold the World Cup in Morocco, at least
in comparison to the North American bid.
So what would it say if Morocco still won?
It would tell you that the political horse
trading of the past that has mired old World Cup votes
has not disappeared, regardless of all the reforms
that FIFA have put in place.
And weirdly enough, a counterpoint,
that money isn't everything, that
in the end, the global image that you set out
has a big part to play when it comes
to voting on these essentially popularity contests.
And that's what the week ahead looks like from the Financial
Times in London.
See you again next time.
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川金會、世足賽開踢 (Trump to meet Kim, World Cup kicks off)

1196 分類 收藏
Samuel 發佈於 2018 年 6 月 12 日    Rachel Kung 翻譯    Evangeline 審核
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